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2285Re: [Asatru-U] Here's a thread...

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  • Lissa
    May 3, 2006
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      Hey, Arlie,

      > I tried to avoid making any statement about the correctness of the
      > diagnosis and the potential treatment, partly not to muddy the waters
      > about the religious question, and partly because I am *not* a doctor
      > or therapist, so my misgivings about the effectiveness and general
      > suitability of anti-depressants is merely one lay opinion. I have,
      > personally, refused to take them.

      Quite a valid point. Everyone reacts to depression in different ways,
      and needs different treatments, no matter what that mental health HMO I
      used to work for says.

      Fighting depression is a damned hard fight, with or without medication.
      But, it isn't a moral issue. It is a health issue. Which also means it
      isn't a religious issue for heathens, since we are concerned with what
      people do, not with what they are, what they "believe" or what they do
      or don't have "faith" in.

      Yes, I'm oversimplifying grossly. But I fear that some heathens might
      apply the "suck it up, and get on with it" approach to a health issue. I
      generally admire that position, but not when it means rejection of
      necessary tools.

      (And, I'm very much glad you are doing better, Arlie.)

      > > Does this make me a bad heathen? Well, it happened before I got roped
      > > into this circus, so either the gods wanted a broken heathen, or they
      > > don't care. It is simply a chemical imbalance that, if I take the pill
      > > every day, doesn't affect how I live or what I am.
      > >
      > > Now, when I found out I was going to have to take medication or die, I
      > > was really angry. I also started worrying about things like how I would
      > > survive if civilization collapsed. But, at the core of I, I felt weak
      > > and impotent because I had to take medication. This was irrational, but
      > > it was (and is, on the very occasional bad day) real. Thinking it
      > > through helped me to realize I was being irrational, and that helped,
      > > but, basically, I had to just get used to it.
      > Ditto, but I *also* feel that way about not being able to be a mighty
      > teenage hero. Aging hits a lot of people that way. I don't like having
      > to ask for help with things I could once have done alone, and a lot of
      > my identity is/was tied up in being physically strong and fit,
      > probably beyond the level that was ever true. (I fantasized about
      > being a mighty warrior as a child...) Aging has forced me to face up
      > to being what I see, emotionally, as a weakling, and I really don't
      > like it. And that's a _physical_ weakling; the depression doesn't bug
      > me in the same way.

      This can feed my depression. Perhaps that is why I laugh so hard at the
      mighty warrior heathen types. Someday, they'll be old like me, on
      medication and walking with a limp, and we'll see how they deal with it
      (not gracefully, I suspect. I didn't, after all).

      > > Thordis' actions imply to me that Egil was left to his depression to see
      > > if he could work it out himself, and, when he couldn't, the family acted
      > > to help him. I suspect this was both because they cared for him, and
      > > because he was a needed member of the community.
      > >
      > > My own sense of the way Icelanders worked was that Thordis would have
      > > gone charging in with a bottle of Prozac or Ativan if she'd had it or
      > > been able to steal it.
      > I think you are quire right.

      Probably mixed it in his skyr.

      > > > But that's the smaller part of this. The real question is whether
      > > > heathens are required to be supermen. Is this a way of life for
      > > > everyone, including not just heroes and the potentially great, but
      > > > also their more ordinary families, neighbours, and friends?
      > > >
      > > > My experience, cynically speaking, is that modern heathenry too often
      > > > attempts to be a religion for supermen, and ends up instead with a
      > > > collection of poseurs, each trying to show themselves worthy, with
      > > > emphasis on "show" - rather than _be_.
      > >
      > > Oh, gods, yes. And, if the phrase "religion for supermen" doesn't run
      > > chills up your spine, you don't know your history.
      > *grin* Nietzsche himself seems to have been an example of much of what
      > I was alluding to - not a superman himself in any way but fantasy.

      Yep, but he wasn't the only abuser of the superman concept I was
      referring to.

      As heathens, our actions are the critically important thing. So, we need
      to make sure we can act as thoughtfully and strongly as necessary.
      Depression tends to rob one of the ability to act. Therefore, if we have
      to make a religious issue out of it (which I'm loth to do, although I
      certainly understand the temptation), anything that impairs our ability
      to act in ways useful to those we've consciously built bonds with must
      be minimized or eliminated.

      Therefore, taking medication for a chemical imbalance is just like
      making sure one's horse has the proper shoes, one's sword is sharp (or,
      in my case, kitchen knives) and that the computer is plugged in.

      Of course, we should also be leery of the One True Answer, but that is
      another tendency for another day.

      Be well,


      Why didn't the world come? Because there was no
      self-interest....No oil. They didn't come because some
      humans are [considered] less human than others.

      Gen. Romeo Dallaire on the Rwandan Genocide
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